Originally Posted by mdccclxix
So thanks to bb-ref's new splits info I've been learning more about these prospects. Here is Barnhart's OPS vs RHP the last three years
Is it common to finally pull the plug on switch hitting? He's about an .800 ops bat vs RHP as a lefty hitter. Would he be materially worse vs. LHP as a LHB? Does seeing both sides of the plate help his game calling behind it? It's interesting because he's been considered one of the very top defensive catchers in the minors, he can really hit RHP, so when is his eta really? Can he be a faster riser?
I think you are saying that Barnhart struggles against LHP and hits against RHP. I think it's time to push Barnhart to AAA and have him ready to be the back-up catcher on opening day, 2014. Ryan Hanigan will be 33 in August, his deal is coming to an end, his offense continues to decline and the pitcher to whom he is most associated with as his personal catcher will likely be leaving town as a free agent.
Devin Mesoraco has taken a big step forward on offense and defense this year and hits LHP very well. The Reds offense needs the boost that he can provide and IMO it's time to shift the PT allocation to more of a 60-40 split (at least) in Mes' favor for the rest of 2013. Hanigan can be peddled after the season for something useful and Mesoraco can assume the role as starting catcher (with roughly 130 starts behind the plate) in 2014 if healthy. Barnhart, with his plus-plus defense and lefty bat, would be a natural as Mes' back-up.
IMO it would be the best way to pump-up the offense a bit while saving a little cash to be used towards other needs (like raises for Broxton and Ludwick). I'm a big Hanigan fan, but its time to shift the catching load and look to a future where it's less tandem and more a primary catcher with the former #1 pick and top prospect getting the PT.